IQ: either you’ve got it or you don’t, and if you don’t there’s really not much you can do about it. Fortunately your IQ is much less of an indicator of how well you will do in the world than your teachers and guidance counselors would have had you believe back in high school. The real thing that determines how successful you will be in life? Your emotional intelligence.
Your emotional quotient, or EQ, is a measure of your emotional intelligence. These are things like:
- Self Awareness – do you know your strengths and weaknesses and are you willing to admit when you’ve made a mistake? Do you learn from your mistakes?
- Self Regulation – can you stop and think before you speak or act?
- Motivation – are you motivated by passion or by power?
- Empathy – can you place yourself in another person’s shoes to get an understanding of where they are coming from?
- Social Skills – do you generally get along with others and participate in the group dynamic?
Some of the highest level C-suiters have very high levels of emotional intelligence, a trait which helped them to rise to the top. Jeff Bezos is well known for his self-deprecating humor, which puts others at ease. Pepsico CEO Indra Nooyi is known for her singing in the office, and she once wrote to the parents of 29 to her employees to tell them they had raised great kids. And Oprah Winfrey made her name by using her amazing talent for getting people to open up to her about difficult topics.
Even if you don’t have great emotional intelligence now, the good news is that it is something you can learn and develop over time. Having great emotional intelligence can mean an additional $29,000 on your yearly salary, too. Learn more about the importance of emotional intelligence in your career from this infographic.
Infographic source: Aumann Bender & Associates